1778 - Rhode Island passes the nation's first slave military enlistment act, resulting in the First Rhode Island Regiment.
1808 - Congress bans the foreign slave trade.
1915 - First Spingarn Award given! (On this date in 1915 Ernest Just, biologist, received the Spingarn Medal for pioneering research on fertilization and cell division.)
1924 - Sonny Stitt born
1926 - Nydia M E Ecury born (Arubian poet/actress)
1942 - James "Blood" Ulmer born
1948 - President Harry S. Truman proposes to Congress civil rights legislation outlawing lynching, eliminating the poll tax, and supporting fair employment. Alienating the white South and impressing African Americans, Truman sets the stage for his unexpected reelection later in the year.
1948 - Alan Mckay born (guitarist for Earth Wind and Fire)
1949 - The first 45 RPM record was released.
1951 - Alphonso Johnson born (jazz bassist)
1953 - James Mndaweni born (South African worker's union leader/president (NACTU))
1959 - The Coasters song, "Charlie Brown," was released.
1960 - U.S. Senate approves 24th Amendment calling for a ban on the poll tax.
1971 - Idi Amin became dictator of Uganda.
1972 - Stevie Wonder appeared live at the Manchester Odeon, England
1972 - T-Mo born (Goodie Mob)
1975 - UK Army offensive against rebels in Eritrea/Ethiopia
1983 - Sam Chatman died
1990 - South African President F. W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
1992 - The US Coast Guard shipped home 250 more Haitian refugees from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, a day after repatriating a shipload of about 150 Haitians.
1995 - President Clinton nominated Henry Foster, Jr. to succeed fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders; however, Foster's nomination was later defeated in the Senate.
2338 - Commander Data born on Star Trek: The Next Generation (it is also Brent Spiner's B-day)